A look at the wider world of blogging and why I write this blog

This week I have been prompted to consider what’s going on the wider world of blogging and online content… what blogging is about and why I write this blog.

This week I have been prompted to consider what’s going on the wider world of blogging and online content… what blogging is about and why I write this blog.
To give some focus to the issue… “we need to talk about Kevin” (a great book… seeing the film this week).
The Kevin we need to talk about, as online content providers and medical tourism people is Kevin Rude, the Health Team Director at Medical Treatments Management, whose “blogging” has sparked a debate on various discussion forums on Linked In such as Medical Tourism & Travel Developers.
Recently various forums and most of the medical tourism groups on Linked In have been bombarded with Kevin’s blog posts. There have been such gems as:

  • New Blog Post The Power of Coconut Coconut Oil Helps Women – The Coconut and what it can do for your health; it’s a…
  • New Blog Post Kidney Stones Prevention Kidney Stones Diet Urology

But there were some that appeared to have some relevance to medical tourism:

  • How US Health Care Reform Will Affect Employee Benefits – Health Care – Strategy – Analysis | MTM Blog http://ow.ly/7mXQn
  • New Blog Post How to Compare Different Health Providers – The bottom line is to choose a provider, company or surgeon… http://ow.ly/1fwUIe
    These blog posts attracted my interest and that of others in the industry. I went to take a look at Kevin’s MTM Blog. Lots of interesting stuff….. but some of it seemed familiar. In fact…very familiar….was I reading my own words in places? So I did some exploring.
    Kevin’s MTM Blog is packed with insight, opinion and analysis…. but none of it appears to be his own insight, opinion and analysis. The blog is “written by” Kevin and other contributors such as “Omar” and “Karen”.
    Look deeper and you will find that much of the blog content originates from a host of reputable online publishers – New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, McKinsey Chronicle, Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), A.D.A.M. Foundation and others. In many cases, what Kevin and his blogging team do is make a straight copy of original and copyrighted material from a publisher’s web site and paste it as a “blog article”. Then they post a link to the original article at the bottom of the blog post.
  • Kevin’s Blog article with this article from the McKinsey Quarterly
    Spot the similarity….?
    Kevin’s “link bombing” of the Linked In groups with his blog posts sparked a bit of a reaction.
  • David Fitzpatrick from Voyageur Group commented:
    “ a whopping 38 active discussions no less – my interest peaked I was keen to see what insights and discussions were making an impact; this interest then quickly turned to marked annoyance as I saw that these “discussions” were nothing of the sort – on your own you managed to splatter gun 13 links with no discussion or insight whatsoever on to a single group”
  • Scott Frankum commented:
    “Keep in mind that no reputable creator or aggregator shares the work of others without notice, permission, link-backs and respect. Scraping is an automated process, but done with permission. Scraping without permission falls into bottom of the barrel “Internet tricks”. We’re exploring health care. Respect helps us all.”

Kevin has carried on regardless and seems to think there’s no real issue here. He says he posts a link to the original article at the bottom of the blog post. So that’s OK, he says. What’s the problem?
According to Kevin….
“The internet is about sharing information, the credit is a link back”
He’s right … the internet is about sharing information, but it should not be about stealing information.
There’s a thing called copyright and it applies to the web just as much as printed materials. The downside of the web is that it is very easy to copy and paste other people’s work, claim it as your own and “share” it with others. Copyright is there to protect people and businesses (like mine!) that invest in editorial, that pay writers and journalists to pour their intellect into writing articles that provide insight, opinion and analysis.( If you want to know more about copyright, see World Intellectual Property Organization.)
IMTJ, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, McKinsey Chronicle and others pay people to write for their journals and for their readers. They don’t pay them to write for Kevin (even when he is generous enough to provide a link back to the original article.)
So, Kevin, please take note!
And here’s a challenge for Kevin.. one blog article that is “all your own work” and that provides insight, opinion or analysis of the medical tourism market. You run a medical tourism facilitator business…. so tell us what YOU think.
If it’s any good, we’ll post it on IMTJ.

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As Editor in Chief of International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) and a Healthcare Consultant for LaingBuisson, Keith Pollard is one of Europe’s leading experts on private healthcare, medical tourism and cross border healthcare, providing consultancy and research services, and attending and contributing to major conferences across the world on the subject. He has been involved in private healthcare, medical travel and cross border healthcare since the 1990s. His career has embraced the management of private hospitals in the UK, research and feasibility studies for healthcare ventures, the marketing and business development aspects of healthcare and medical travel and publishing, research and consultancy on cross border healthcare.